If you want to surprise your loved one with a flower bouquet as they arrive at the Bengaluru airport, or have your car washed as you come back from a day trip, request a valet service at the airport. And if you are getting late for your flight or require a travel concierge—it is all at your fingertips now.
These four services have been rolled out for passengers travelling through Bengaluru airport and can be accessed through an app. The convenience is a result of a partnership between Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Hong Kong-based Plaza Premium Group (PPG)—a global airport hospitality services provider, for enhancing customer experience by leveraging technology. TCS and PPG plan to add eight more services to the current four by February and then take it up to offering 32 services in all by end of March, which can be accessed by customers through an app.
This will be a first-of-its-kind customised passenger services technology platform developed by TCS for PPG. The long-term partnership between the two focuses on reimagining end-to-end airport travel experience across three core areas: customer experience, employee experience and operational excellence.
Speaking to FE, Girish Ramachandran, president (Asia Pacific), TCS said that till now only airlines have been providing these services individually, while there is a whole ecosystem of people who need to come together for this. “With this partnership, we have tried to re-imagine the whole customer experience from the time a person leaves the home to the time that the person arrives at the airport. We have looked at ways in which we can remove all friction points digitally and build a digitally connected ecosystem connecting all partners and stakeholders rather than dealing with each one separately,” he said.
Bora Isbulan, chief commercial officer, Plaza Premium Group said that the market for these services is highly fragmented building inefficiencies in terms of access to these services by passengers. “In all the 74 plus airports that we are present in, all the different services like a car wash, valet parking, car parking, florist, travel through premium sedans, buggies, support for their parents or pets are fragmented. Passengers are not able to reach these services at their fingertips through an app or an e-commerce kind of solution like a web page,” he said.
According to Isbulan, with the solution provided by TCS, all the verticals will be well blended giving a global digital connected journey for the passenger right from the time they plan their travel to the time they board the aircraft.
While TCS provides technology solutions to the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, the deal with PPG is unique as it is for the first time the company has looked at designing a solution for reimagining customer experience in a post-Covid world, said Ramachandran. “We have tried providing digital spine to ensure customer needs are taken care of,” he said.
Starting with Bengaluru airport, the partnership with PPG is a multi-year one and will be extended to the other 74 plus airport locations of PPG serving 20 million passengers annually.
Ramachandran declined to comment on the financial contours of the deal and its contribution to TCS’s travel, tourism and hospitality (TTH) vertical, however, said that recovery in the vertical is still not happening.
“It is not to say that TTH is coming back, but customers are still spending. They want to look at customer experience and service their customers better. There is a significant amount of digitisation happening as well. So, over some time this segment will recover as more passenger services go up and people start to travel,” he said.